• Reserve round-up: week commencing 17 May

    Recent sightings

    What a wild couple of weeks we have had weather-wise! Huge amounts of rain have really tested the warden team with their closely managed water levels. Sleepless nights worrying if the nesting birds around the islands would make it overnight or be washed out by the next morning. It is the finest of margins trying to way up how much it will rain vs letting out too much water and risk the muddy edges drying…

    • 29 May 2021
  • Hides are open and sandwiches return

    After months of having to keep our hides closed to visitors, the changes in Government guidance that came into effect on Monday 17 May mean we’re delighted to have reopened our three hides this week.

    Not only is this good news to have some shelter from the erratic spring weather we’ve been having lately, it also allowed the delayed, much-anticipated opening of the new Border hide that was finished way back in November…

    • 19 May 2021
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 10 May

    Recent Sightings

    With the height of spring here, the reserve feels at its best with bluebells in full bloom, avocet chicks hatching and lots of warblers singing. The weather has been keeping us on our toes with regular changes of blustery rain showers to glorious sunshine.

     Bluebells in full bloom - Elizabeth Maddock 

    We’re all watching excitedly out to the scrape and wet grassland, monitoring the nesting avocets

    • 11 May 2021
  • Early birding around Burton

    Despite the traditional bank holiday weekend blip, we’ve enjoyed some unseasonably dry weather so far this spring. That’s not such good news for managing a wet grassland site like Burton Mere Wetlands for breeding waders, but it’s presented many lovely, bright mornings perfect for getting out for some early morning birdwatching.

    Whilst Burton Mere Wetlands is very much the focal point of this reserve…

    • 3 May 2021
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 19 April

    Recent sightings

    The reserve is just absolutely buzzing with wildlife right now. Every day we get reports of stoats across the reserve and water vole sightings have increased too. With this gorgeously warmer weather, we have had at least eight species of butterfly now.

    Out on the main scrape, it’s a hive of activity and full of drama. From the fantastically noisy black-headed gulls squabbling between each other to…

    • 22 Apr 2021
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 5 April

    Posted on behalf of Katie Ellis

    Recent sightings

    There’s been plenty to keep us busy at the reserve over the last few weeks! We’ve been welcoming back our spring birds, replacing Bridge screen and relaunching our visitor welcome along with lots of essential jobs to complete. Sand martins, house martins and swallows have returned, coming into view on more overcast days over The Mere and pools. Chiffchaffs

    • 8 Apr 2021
  • Easter access update

     Marsh marigold (Paul Jubb)

    Easter is here, and despite the chilly temperatures there are sights and sounds of spring all around. With the easing of the Government's lockdown restrictions, we have been able to gradually reopen facilities at Burton Mere Wetlands through the second half of March.

    We were fortunate enough to keep the reserve open through lockdown as a place for local exercise; this is now extended to…

    • 3 Apr 2021
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 15 March

    Recent sightings

    This is a great time of year, with the reserve just bursting at the seams with wildlife. The team have been spotting the new spring arrivals, trying to catch the last glimpse of our winter birds and watching out for those birds migrating through. Not to mention weasels playing on the boardwalk, water voles balancing on piles of cut reeds, toads strutting across the paths and some interesting signs of otter…

    • 20 Mar 2021
  • Reserve round-up: February 2021

    Posted on behalf of Katie Ellis

    Recent sightings

    We’ve seen February off with some bright skies and the feeling that spring has sprung! The reserve is transforming with spring scenes and sounds all around; songs from our well-known songbirds are gradually strengthening, declaring their territories and courtship beginning.  Buzzards are back circling their breeding sites over the woodlands, whilst lapwings and r…

    • 3 Mar 2021
  • Spring Sprucing and Hope on the Horizon

    As spring approaches, it is only natural for us to think about new beginnings. After one of the most challenging years most of us have ever endured, the thought of fresh starts serves well to lift our collective spirits, and the Government's roadmap out of lockdown this week tells us we should be able to get outside more and enjoy most of the forthcoming season.

    It’s certainly no secret that nature has played a huge…

    • 12 Feb 2021
  • The Parkgate High Tide Phenomenon

    Posted on behalf of Katie Ellis

    This time of year, our famed high tide watches at Parkgate Old Baths would usually be in full swing, with some of the best wildlife spectacles the Dee Estuary has to offer. Hosting these events is one of my favourite parts of working in the Dee Estuary reserve’s visitor experience team, sharing with the public the history, science and wildlife that makes the estuary so special.

    • 12 Feb 2021
  • Early signs of spring

    Early signs of spring!

    Winter can be a spectacular time of year with its stunning frozen sceneries and the sheer masses of wildfowl we get, yet I still find spring to be my favourite time of the year. With the days already longer and little glimmers of hope appearing on brighter, warmer days, new life is emerging all around us.

    Now I know it may seem a bit early to be talking about spring with the cold wet weather we…

    • 5 Feb 2021
  • Temporary East Bank viewpoint to close for bird breeding season

    With the long slog of January over, February marks the last month of winter and increasing daylight sparks some early signs of spring. With that in mind, our focus turns to the impending bird breeding season, and doing everything in our gift to help the reserve’s priority wildlife have its most successful season possible.

    Since the reserve is currently open only for local exercise, it is markedly quiet compared…

    • 2 Feb 2021
  • Reserve round-up: January 2021

    Posted on behalf of Katie Ellis

    Recent sightings

    January has greeted us with frosty mornings, gorgeous sunsets and plenty of rain! Other than the weather, the start to 2021 has been very different to any other new year, with the need to stay at home once again. We’ve been fortunate enough to keep the reserve open during this lockdown as somewhere for people who live locally to take their permitted daily exercise and…

    • 29 Jan 2021
  • The Wonder of WeBS

    My blog this week is a little insight into something called WeBS. Nope, not the amazing creations that spiders build to catch their prey, but the Wetland Bird Survey.

    Carrying on a tradition that began in 1947, Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) is nationally synchronised across the UK and co-ordinated by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). The key project partners that are involved along with the RSPB are The Wildfowl…

    • 22 Jan 2021
  • Burton Mere Wetlands remains open during third lockdown

    In line with Government guidance on essential, daily exercise outdoors, during the third lockdown, Burton Mere Wetlands' car park, trails and toilets remain open for local, essential exercise only. Our visitor centre, hides, refreshments and mail-order shop will be closed for the duration of this lockdown. We are also not running events.

    Please follow all current Government guidance around social distancing, who you…

    • 7 Jan 2021
  • Christmas and New Year opening at Burton Mere Wetlands

    Christmas will be different for all of us in many ways, and Burton Mere Wetlands’ opening hours over the next two weeks are also slightly altered from previous years too.

      Burton mere Wetlands in winter (Paul Jubb)

    The reserve will be closed entirely on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, reopening on Sunday 27 December through to Sunday 3 January. We will then be closed on Monday 4 January and Tuesday 5…

    • 23 Dec 2020
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 14 December

    Posted on behalf of Katie Ellis.

    Recent sightings

    It’s feeling very wintry now the temperatures have dropped to single figures and the days are at their shortest, but the cooler conditions have brought us some brilliant wildlife and dramatic sunsets. The feeders close to the visitor centre are buzzing with small woodland birds as they fill up each day to make it through the cold nights. A clever sparrowhawk is making…

    • 20 Dec 2020
  • A homage to the old and looking forward to the future

    This story begins back in 1986 when the very first piece of the Burton Mere Wetlands puzzle began with the purchase of 75 acres of low-lying, waterlogged arable fields at Inner Marsh Farm, historically reclaimed from the tidal estuary by the development of the Borderlands railway.

    In 1988, the purchase of Burton Point Farm gave better access and became the reserve's operational hub, but the small team at that time still…

    • 4 Dec 2020
  • December access update and introducing our new hide

    We’ve reached the end of the second lockdown and for some locals, Burton Mere Wetlands remaining open throughout was vital for them to get regular exercise, fresh air and see a few friendly faces – all at a safe distance, of course.

    As we exit lockdown, Cheshire will be under Tier 2 local restrictions from Wednesday 2 December which means we are able to reopen some of the facilities that were closed during…

    • 1 Dec 2020
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 23 November

    Posting on behalf of Katie Ellis

    Recent sightings

    Autumn is moving towards winter, the leaves disappearing off the trees and Burton Mere has seen lots of change in the last couple of weeks and not just due to the seasons. The visitor centre smells of fresh paint, there’s a new welcome cabin in the car park and the Inner Marsh Farm accessibility improvement project is close to completion; seemingly every day there’s been…

    • 28 Nov 2020
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 9 November

    Posted on behalf of Katie Ellis

    Recent Sightings

    Autumn is now well underway; the days are drawing in and the temperature has dropped a few degrees. The car park and paths are lined with golden leaves as the oaks thin out and the elusive jays are busy gathering acorns for winter. With the normal seasonal changes, we’ve also seen changes to our daily lives with the introduction of a second lockdown in England. Fortunately…

    • 11 Nov 2020
  • Burton Mere Wetlands remains open during second lockdown

    We know that for many of you, Burton Mere Wetlands provides enjoyment and solace in the natural world throughout these challenging times. In line with Government guidance on essential, daily exercise outdoors, during the second lockdown, our car park, trails and toilets remain open for you to visit. Please follow all current Government guidance around social distancing, who you can visit with, hygiene and follow all signage…

    • 4 Nov 2020
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 26 October

    Recent sightings

    The last few weeks have seen regular visits from whooper swans on the main scrape and the odd visit from curlew sandpiper and green sandpiper. Other waders have been black-tailed godwitslapwing, ruffredshank, golden plover and lots of wonderful snipe.

    Whooper swan: John Langley

    Good sightings still of linnet, fieldfare, redwing, siskin, stonechat and bullfinch. The staff were lucky enough to catch a gorgeous…

    • 29 Oct 2020
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 12 October

    Recent sightings

    Since my last blog a few weeks ago there has been some very mixed weather. I only seem to recall the glorious sunny days that were a wash of colours across the reserve. The change of autumn leaves is in full swing no, and as you drive down our main track try not get distracted by the fantastic shades ochre and red.

    Autumn leaves: Elizabeth Maddock

    Raptors have been a little quieter on the reserve this…

    • 16 Oct 2020